2020 Honda Insight Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
As a hybrid sedan, the 2020 Honda Insight offers great advantages in terms of efficiency. Also, its cabin is comfortable and packed with many standard features that one would expect in a Honda. The Insight has some advanced technology, enhanced safety features, and stylistic elements that make it a good investment for many consumers. At the same time, there are some drawbacks to it, most of which are minor. Here's a breakdown of why people should buy, or not buy, a 2020 Honda Insight.
What's New for 2020?
The Insight was re-launched in 2019 and got a welcome reception from many consumers and industry professionals. Honda hasn't taken any steps to modify the Insight so far, other than adding an exterior paint colors to the range of options. For 2020, Platinum White Pearl is on the exterior paint list, joining colors such as Aegean Blue Metallic, Crimson Pearl, and Crystal Black Pearl.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Honda Insight – The Pros
1. It Drives Like a Hybrid But Doesn't Look Like One
When hybrids were first introduced, many of them had a space-age appearance that matched their new spin on what a vehicle's engine could be. The new generation of Insights don't have that unique look. Instead, they look like modern sedans that are in line with other traditional options in the market. This makes them have greater appeal amongst the drivers who want to be efficient while not being so obvious with their hybrid preferences.
2. Providing Enough Power
The 2020 Honda Insight is never going to win an award for having the biggest and most powerful engine, but that wasn't Honda's intention when designing this vehicle. The 2020 Honda Insight feels light on its feet and handles in a similar manner to non-hybrid counterparts. It's powered by both a gas engine and electric motor, which combine to generate 151 horsepower. The electric motor can run on its own for about a mile at low speeds, and when the gas engine has to kick on, the transition is seamless.
3. Stretch Out Visits to the Gas Station
The 2020 Honda Insight beats out many hybrid competitors in terms of fuel efficiency. The LX and EX trims can get up to an estimated 55/49 (city/highway) miles per gallon, and the heavier Touring trim can achieve up to an estimated 51/45 miles per gallon. Given the price of gas and how much certain drivers travel each week, there's a lot of potential fuel savings that the Insight brings with it.
4. Versatile Cargo Space
With a hybrid, the battery pack takes up space. In the 2020 Honda Insight, the batteries are conveniently located under the rear seat so as to not take up any cargo space. If larger items need to be carried, the rear seats can be folded down to create more room. The back row is configured as a 60/40 split bench in the EX and Touring trims, so a passenger plus cargo can be accommodated at the same time.
5. Safety Comes First
By investing in the 2020 Honda Insight's safety package, Honda has made a bold move in making this hybrid more attractive to many types of drivers. Honda Sensing is the name of the suite of features that can help people keep an extra eye on the road and their driving. Standard on all trims are mechanisms that will warn drivers if they're about to hit a car near them or veer out of a lane. In some circumstances, the Insight can take corrective action, whether that means gently steering the car in the right direction or applying pressure to the brakes.
Another part of Honda Sensing is adaptive cruise control. This is a step up from the standard system that only maintains speed, as adaptive cruise control can maintain proper distancing with other cars. This ability is key in busy traffic or when other drivers suddenly slow down.
6. Choose Your Drive Mode
There are three drive modes on the 2020 Honda Insight: ECON, Sport, and EV. ECON is the mode that will maximize the vehicle's range by optimizing power and efficiency. Sport mode gives people the opportunity to drive a bit more aggressively. Acceleration and response is noticeably quicker when this mode is chosen. In EV mode, only the electric motor is used. As such, it's only applicable on short trips.
Having the ability to switch back and forth between various modes is ideal. Some people might not always want to drive in a manner that optimizes efficiency, such as when they're dealing with city traffic or trying to power up hills.
7. A Rearview Camera Gives Greater Perspective
When the car is in reverse, the rearview camera will automatically turn on and broadcast its video feed on a screen on the dashboard. It comes with three video modes - Wide, Normal, and Top Down - so drivers can get a better idea of what's behind them. This is an important safety feature that helps people avoid low-speed, rear-end collisions.
8. Hands Can Stay on the Wheel
Bluetooth connectivity is standard on all the trims of the 2020 Honda Insight. This means that a driver can make hands-free phone calls using the car's audio system. In higher trims, the car can be set up to accept voice commands.
9. An Informative Driver Information Interface
The Honda Insight is an advanced vehicle in many ways. The driver information interface, located just behind the steering wheel, provides a variety of data that drivers can use to track performance. In addition to showing standard trip information, the Insight can display real-time energy usage. For customers who place a premium on efficiency, this can be a real benefit.
10. Infotainment At One's FingertipsAn eight-inch, high-resolution touchscreen is included on the EX and Touring trims. People can use the knob and hard keys for some primary controls, and the screen itself is easy to operate. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come with the EX and Touring trims as well, so one can have instant access to downloaded songs. The Touring can be equipped to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and to enhance the listening experience, it comes with a 450-watt premium audio system with 10 speakers and a subwoofer.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Honda Insight – The Cons
1. The Base Model is Basic
The LX certainly feels like it deserves a cheaper price tag. It doesn't have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, which many people specifically look for these days. It's five-inch screen also leaves a bit to be desired in terms of size, quality, and capability. However, those who care about these technological differences can simply upgrade to the EX trim.
On the LX, the rear seat is a one-piece bench. It can fold down if necessary, creating more room for larger items that wouldn't otherwise fit in the trunk. In contrast, the EX and Touring trims have a 60/40 split bench in the back that allows for more flexibility.
2. Noisy Engine
As the Insight accelerates on the highway or around town, it does have a tendency to be loud. This is especially true in comparison with the quiet operation of the electric motor. It illustrates the fact that the Insight has an engine that would struggle to compete with high-end competitors. Most people looking into the Insight, though, probably won't mind given the gains in efficiency that the car brings.
3. Over-Active Lane Watch System
One of the safety systems - Lane Watch - is designed to help drivers be more aware of other vehicles in their blind spots. With Lane Watch, the Insight can capture an image of those other vehicles with a small camera installed in the right mirror, and that image can be displayed on the touchscreen. Some people think Lane Watch is a bit too active and takes over the touchscreen more than they'd like it to. Fortunately, Lane Watch can be turned off with the touch of a button.
4. Small Cabin
The Honda Insight can technically seat five passengers, with three in the back. With a rear leg room of 37.4 inches and hip room of only 47 inches, it would be tough to fit three adults comfortably in the second row. Up front, things are better, with up to 42.3 inches of leg room and 54 inches of hip room.
5. Lack of Cargo Space
The trunk has 15.1 cubic feet of space, which is fairly competitive with other small sedans but nowhere near the amount of storage space that a hatchback or larger sedan can have.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
The 2020 Honda Insight has good overall horsepower, at 151, which puts it at an advantage in comparison with many other compact sedans and hybrids. At least at the EX trim, the Insight comes with many technological features that make it a pleasure to ride in. It also has better fuel economy than most other hybrids, and it blows non-hybrids away in this regard.
For anyone who likes the idea of driving a hybrid but still wants to own something that feels like a traditional vehicle, the Insight is a great option. It's capable enough to give drivers peace of mind on the roads, and it comes with many safety features that are reassuring to have. The LX is a bare-bones option that is still comfortable to drive around, the EX and Touring offer more in terms of infotainment and high-end stylistic details.
• Why buy a 2019 Honda Insight? w/ pros vs cons